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Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Senior White House and Trump campaign officials are complaining bitterly about poor internal communication, blaming colleagues, pondering what jobs they might try to get next year, and lashing out at their new enemy: Fox News. 

The state of play: Aides told Axios they're dreading the prospect of Fox calling Pennsylvania for Joe Biden, which could make the conservative network the first to give Biden 270 electoral votes.

  • A Trump campaign official said the internal view was that it's essential to keep the race "optically" alive, and that if Fox were to call it, it would severely harm their efforts to support President Trump's (false) claims that he'd already won.

The incandescent anger at Fox within Trumpworld is hard to overstate:

  • Trump's advisers remain furious at Fox’s decision desk for its early call of Arizona for Biden, which was seconded by AP. Trump advisers have been unsuccessfully lobbying their contacts at the network to retract the call.
  • Fox hasn't budged. A graphic during news coverage last evening by lead election anchors Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum: "FOX DECISION DESK STANDS BEHIND DECISION TO CALL ARIZONA FOR BIDEN."

Trump advisers are also venting at what they describe as a grossly incompetent post-Election Day operation. "I don't know what the message is," said one prominent surrogate who regularly appears on cable to defend Trump:

  • "There’s no organization or coordination. If I was to go on TV right now, I wouldn't know what the [blank] to say."
  • The source said that Trump surrogates, in the absence of official messaging and direction, have been sharing amongst themselves a tweet thread from Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberly Strassel, who wrote: "Transparency is good. Will raise confidence in outcome."

A senior administration official said: "When Bush had this issue they tapped arguably the pre-eminent statesman of his generation, James Baker, to spearhead their legal and PR efforts, to great effect. ... We rolled out Rudy Giuliani, Corey Lewandowski and Pam Bondi. You can draw your own conclusions."

Go deeper

Off the Rails

Episode 2: Barbarians at the Oval

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 2: Trump stops buying what his professional staff are telling him, and increasingly turns to radical voices telling him what he wants to hear. Read episode 1.

President Trump plunked down in an armchair in the White House residence, still dressed from his golf game — navy fleece, black pants, white MAGA cap. It was Saturday, Nov. 7. The networks had just called the election for Joe Biden.

Off the Rails

Episode 3: Descent into madness ... Trump: "Sometimes you need a little crazy"

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 3: The conspiracy goes too far. Trump's outside lawyers plot to seize voting machines and spin theories about communists, spies and computer software.

President Trump was sitting in the Oval Office one day in late November when a call came in from lawyer Sidney Powell. "Ugh, Sidney," he told the staff in the room before he picked up. "She's getting a little crazy, isn't she? She's really gotta tone it down. No one believes this stuff. It's just too much."

Off the Rails

Episode 6: Last stand in Georgia

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Drew Angerer, Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 6: Georgia had not backed a Democratic presidential candidate since 1992 and Donald Trump's defeat in this Deep South stronghold, and his reaction to that loss, would help cost Republicans the U.S. Senate as well. Georgia was Trump's last stand.

On Air Force One, President Trump was in a mood. He had been clear he did not want to return to Georgia, and yet somehow he'd been conscripted into another rally on the night of Jan. 4.